World Series of Fighting president, Ray Sefo, will be donning gloves this weekend to fight for the promotion in its fourth night of fights. The kickboxing and MMA legend will be taking on Dave Huckaba in his 101st fight. As he finishes preparations for this weekend, Sefo reflects that 101 may be the final fight of his storied career.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
In a BJPenn.com Radio exclusive interview, kickboxing and MMA legend, Ray Sefo, declared that his upcoming fight this weekend will most likely be the final fight of his career.
In June, at World Series of Fighting 3, Sefo announced to the world that he would be fighting his 100th fight under the banner that he oversees. It wasn’t until later that Sefo realized he had already reached the impressive 100.
“I wanted to reach 100,” Sefo said, recalling the fight announcement, “not knowing that I was already at 100 fights. I thought I was between 93 and 96. When I spoke to my former coach that I came up in the rankings and became world champion with, Lollo Heimuli, he told me that we had about 18 fights prior to K1. When we counted it back, we were actually at exactly 100. This upcoming fight is fight 101.”
What does that mean for Sefo? Well, for one, he is coming to accept that he has done everything he set out to do in his career.
“Right now, I’m 99.9% sure that this is going to be my final, my last fight.”
Of course, the six-time Muay Thai world champion does leave some room for just one more fight.
“I’m 99.9% sure that this is definitely going to be my last fight. The only reason why it’s 99.9 is because I would like to fight one more fight in my hometown, in front of my hometown where I started. I’d like to end it there. So, you know, we’ll see. There are discussions going back and forth, and if that happens, great! If not, you know, I’ve had a great career, and I’m happy with it. Whatever the outcome of this fight, I’m going to be, you know, I’m going to be happy with myself if anything, because my team and I have put a lot of work in this camp. I feel great, I’m in great shape. Obviously for me, the goal is to go out there and win; but also understanding that this is the world of mixed martial arts, and anything can happen. So one way or the other, you know, I’m going to be happy either way.”
When asked if 100 fights was a goal he set out to achieve early on in his career, the New Zealand native said that it was something that made sense to him recently. When he made the announcement, he admits that he thought he still had 5 or 6 more fights to go to reach 100.
“I don’t set goals, you know, 5 or 10 years down the line… When I had my first fight when I was I want to say 17.5-18, I never thought about being a world champion, I just thought about winning. Then when I won my second amateur fight, I thought about fighting for the amateur title, for the national amateur title. When I talked to my coach about it, he was like, ‘Yeah, sure, let’s make it happen.’ So we set that goal, and then the next goal was to- right after my third amateur fight- I turned pro. I challenged the professional champion at the time- I had a record of, I want to say, 27-4. That was my first pro fight, and I beat him. Each step was a moving forward step, you know.
“After winning six world titles and hav[ing] fought the best of the best in the world at kickboxing, then 2010 I was inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame, 2011 I was inducted into the USA [Martial Arts] Hall of Fame, you know, things I was never thought would be possible. I feel very blessed and very thankful that people, my peers and the people in the world of martial arts see me like that; and so my final goal was to get to 100 [fights], which I knew I was close, not knowing that I was actually at 100. When we counted the fights back, you know, we were actually at 100. So this is 101, and this could be my last fight. You know, I’ve had a great career, and I have so many other things that are on my plate like, for example, the World Series of Fighting, my son who’s the most important thing in my life, my team that I coach. So I got a lot of great things and great people- positive things and positive people- in my life, so there’s a lot to do. Again, I’ve got a good career, and I’m very content with this being my last fight.
“When you have a plate full like mine, I got to find time to fit everything in. And the most important thing is my little boy and spending time with him,a nd you know, the World Series of Fighting, and of course, my guys that I coach at Xtreme Couture. That’s, you know, that’s kind of like more [of a] priority to me now than actual fighting.”
Of course, come Sunday morning, Sefo can return to the life of a father, coach and WSOF president. These roles fit him well, particularly the latter, as the World Series has seen some great success in only three events, and the line-up of fighters only promises more great things to come. But before he continues on that path of promoting and exposing great MMA talent, Ray Sefo must step into the cage for his final fight. The fight was an intriguing match-up even before we knew it was Sefo’s last fight. His opponent, Dave Huckaba, holds a 20-5 record with 16 of his wins coming via KO/TKO.
“Dave Huckaba is obviously an all-around fighter,” Sefo said about his opponent. “His record speaks for itself, I have a lot of respect for Dave… That being said, I have no doubt in my mind that he’s probably going to want to take the fight to the ground… I feel like we’ve covered everything in terms of the ground and in terms of where the fight goes. I’m ready for wherever the fight goes. I think it’s going to be a great fight. Like I said, Dave likes to bang and so do I. One of us- I don’t see this fight going the distance- I think one of us is going to get knocked out. One way or the other, we’ll see Saturday night.”
You can catch Sefo’s final fight live at WSOF 4 at Citizen’s Bank Arena in Ontario, California. The main card will air live on NBC Sports Network this Saturday at 7:30/10:30 pm PT/ET.
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